Ships Nostalgia - View Single Post - Port of Bridgwater, Dunball Wharf etc.
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Old 9th December 2014, 15:20
doverpilot doverpilot is offline  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 27
An interesting thread as I knew Captain Norman Curnow, the Bridgwater Harbourmaster well, often 'helping him out' with piloting ships on the Parrett if there were multiple movements on the same tide for example. Having been Burnham 'born and bred' myself, I can clearly remember the steady stream of foreign coasters and sand boats passing Burnham on each set of spring tides, bound for both Bridgwater Dock and Dunball Wharf, with woodpulp, timber, fishmeal, aggregates etc. In addition to this trade, there were a number of foreign-registered tankers running to the BP depot at Walpole in the mid-60's, which all took pilots for each arrival and departure. Among these chartered vessels which were often to be seen, were the Theodora, Ronland, Thuntank VII, ANP, plus one or two other regulars at the time. Once Bowker & King started up in the Bristol Channel, the chartered tonnage soon disappeared and as one correspondent notes, it was indeed a shame when the Walpole fuel depot and jetty closed. During my early childhood and when home on leave from sea, I did literally hundreds of trips up and down the Parrett with the various pilots, including passages to and from Bridgwater Dock itself and also in to Combwich Wharf on the heavy lift Fisher boats (Aberthaw & Kingsnorth), which had huge Wynn's road haulers on board, delivering heavy lifts/loads for Hinkley Point power station. With age, comes nostalgia of course and each time I visit Burnham these days, I always take a walk along the sea front and think back to all the numbers of coasters which I used to know so well, in years gone by.
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